Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bangalore Auto Strike - Wanted: higher tariffs for higher fleecing

So Bangalore autowallahs want to go on a strike in demand for a higher tariff.

Now, they may have a reasonable point in that they get only Rs 6/km in a city where fuel prices are the highest, whereas autowallahs in Mumbai earn Rs 9/km.

However, where Mumbai autowallahs are industrious and earn their livelihood by taking you anywhere, near or far, their Bangalore counterparts are very... well, to put it politely, 'picky'. To start with, they must need to feel like taking passengers, and then, you have to want to go to the same area they happen to be headed towards, and the destination must be at least 10 kms away. And that's not enough, once you meet these two criteria, it is but obvious that you need to pay either a fixed premium, or a 50 - 100% premium over the meter tariff (the accuracy of which is anyway doubtful).

So commuters are anyway paying a very high premium to start with, and metered tariffs are non-existent. So, if these demands are to be met, can they also counter-agree that they will offer full service? That they will take commuters anywhere, near or far? BY METER? Or will we just see increased tariffs being the excuse for higher premiums (read: higher fleecing?)


Payal said...

I remember when the hike happened in Delhi. For a while you could actually get autowallahs to take you by the meter. Of course, they were still picky. And of course, it didn't last.

Frankly, I think it's going to end up being an excuse for higher fleecing. The main problem is that they seem to think they are doing commuters a bloody favour. Someone should thrash it into them that they are a public service.

(That said, I'm not all that displeased with current auto situation, having spent 20 years in Delhi ;P.)

Allons-y! said...

Apart from it being a public service, I just don't understand why they don't get the fact that it's plain business sense! Productivity is the key. Instead they are happy letting go of ten passengers and waiting for over an hour, or travel empty for over a kilometre for that one 'big sawaari' who will pay that premium.

The sight at MG Road's Pretise Meridian is one to watch, come early evenings. Tons of hopeful commuters lined up, and autos passing by, and making all the commuters feel guilty about not meeting the autowallahs specifications!